How Does Fast Food Affect Children’s Health?

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Fast Food and Children's Health

Are Fast Foods Killing Our Kids?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

How does fast food affect children’s health?

how does fast food affect children's healthFast foods are everywhere. They are advertised on radio, TV, and the internet. Our kids crave them. Busy moms rely on them as they ferry their children to all their different activities.

Fast food restaurants surround every school. Fast foods are even on the lunch menu at many schools.

It’s no wonder that one third of US children eat fast foods every day. What are the consequences of this fast food consumption? Previous studies have shown that fast food consumption is associated with obesity and diabetes in teens.

But, what about younger children? We know that obesity and diabetes is on the rise among younger children, but nobody has looked at the health consequences of fast food consumption in younger children – until now. The study I will talk about today was designed to look at the association between fast food consumption and risk markers for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes in children who were only 9-10 years old.

 

How Was The Study Done?

how does fast food affect children's health kidsThis study (AG Donin et al, Archives of Disease in Childhood, 103: 431-436, 2018) was actually performed in England where the consumption of fast foods (They call them takeaway meals) is not quite as pervasive as it is in the US. But, fast food consumption is increasing rapidly. According to the authors, fast food consumption had increased by more than 25% between 1996 and 2006 and is continuing to increase.

This study was part of a larger Child Heart And Health Study in England (CHASE), which was designed to measure markers of heart disease and diabetes in a multiethnic population of children aged 9-10 years. The study enrolled 1948 primary school children in grade 5 from 85 primary schools across London, Birmingham, and Leicester.

The students were asked about their eating patterns by trained dietitians. Memory cues were used to add recall and photographs were used to help them estimate portion sizes. Fast food consumption broke down as follows:

  • 26% of the children never or hardly ever consumed fast food meals.
  • 46% of the children consumed fast food meals less than once a week.
  • 28% of the children consumed fast food meals once a week or more.

 

How Does Fast Food Affect Children’s Health

 

how does fast food affect children's health junk foodWhen the investigators compared data from the children consuming one or more fast food meals a week with the data from children who never or hardly ever ate fast food meals:

#1: Diet quality was poorer:

  • Total calories consumed, fat, saturate fat, and caloric density of foods consumed were all significantly higher.
  • Consumption of complex carbohydrates and protein was significantly less. In contrast, sugar consumption was unchanged.
  • Intakes of vitamin C, iron, calcium, and folate were significantly less.

#2: Markers of health outcomes were poorer:

  • Fat mass and skinfold thickness (a measure of obesity) were significantly greater.
  • Total and LDL cholesterol were significantly higher. The authors estimated that if these levels were maintained over a lifetime, long-term cardiovascular risk would be increased by approximately 10%.

The authors concluded:

  • “Our study suggests that children who regularly eat takeaway (fast food) meals have adverse lipid profiles, higher body fat, and poorer diet quality.
  • Efforts to reduce takeaway meal consumption in children could have both short-term and long-term health benefits.”

 

What Does This Study Mean For You?

So, how does fast food affect children’s health?  This study is consistent with multiple other studies looking at the effect of consumption of fast food meals on diet quality, obesity, and markers of future disease outcomes in teens and young adults. This study simply showed that the adverse effects of fast food meals are apparent even in younger children.

how does fast food affect children's health fatClearly, fast foods should be avoided. One needs to go no further than the film “Supersize Me” to understand the dangers of excessive fast food consumption.

But, fast foods are just the tip of the iceberg. This study did not look at fast foods purchased by the parents and eaten at home. Nor did it look at sodas, junk foods, and convenience foods consumed at home.

Finally, while things are probably changing, the English diet, like the American diet, is not known as a particularly healthy diet. In fact, both English and American diets are the worst of all possible worlds. They are high in fat, saturated fat, sugars, and refined carbohydrates. They are meat heavy and light on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Eliminating fast foods from your child’s diet is just the first step towards a healthy diet. We should be focusing on a holistic approach to a healthier diet, such as I have outlined in my book “Slaying The Food Myths.”

 

The Bottom Line:

A recent study looked at the effect of fast food consumption on diet quality, obesity, and markers of disease risk in English schoolchildren ages 9-10 years. When the investigators compared data from the children consuming one or more fast food meals a week with the data from children who never or hardly ever ate fast food meals:

#1: Diet quality was poorer:

  • Total calories consumed, fat, saturate fat, and caloric density of foods consumed were all significantly higher.
  • Consumption of complex carbohydrates and protein was significantly less. In contrast, sugar consumption was unchanged.
  • Intakes of vitamin C, iron, calcium, and folate were significantly less.

#2: Markers of health outcomes were poorer:

  • Fat mass and skinfold thickness (a measure of obesity) were significantly greater.
  • Total and LDL cholesterol were significantly higher. The authors estimated that if these levels were maintained over a lifetime, long-term cardiovascular risk would be increased by approximately 10%.

Clearly, fast foods are to be avoided. But, eliminating fast foods from your child’s diet is just the first step towards a healthy diet. We should be focusing on a holistic approach to a healthier diet, such as I have outlined in my book “Slaying The Food Myths.”

For more details, read the article above:

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Inner Knee Pain Relief

Posted June 19, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

You Don’t Need To Suffer From Inner Knee Pain

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

inner knee painInner knee pain will prevent you from straightening your leg. You may feel the pain especially when you go from sitting to standing, or when you walk down stairs. Yet treating a tiny muscle called Popliteus will often stop the pain quickly and easily.

 

Inner Knee Pain Is Frequently Caused By A Small Muscle

inner knee pain popliteusThe muscle is called Popliteus and is a muscle that is rarely considered by professionals while searching for solutions to inner knee pain.

Your Popliteus muscle is located deep inside your knee, connecting your thigh bone to your lower leg bone.  As you follow the link, move to #2 and #4 to see the Popliteus.  You’ll also see a muscle called Plantaris, which may or may not be a part of your problem.

When you are standing up straight, the muscle is at its longest length, but it shortens as your knee bends. The contraction of the muscle initiates the movement, giving the muscle the title of “the key that unlocks the knee.”  When you are sitting for hours or doing an activity such as cycling, the muscle is held shortened. This is the beginning of the problem.

A phenomenon called “Muscle Memory” changes the length of the muscle to the now-shorter length.  Since the muscle doesn’t lengthen as you go to stand up, it puts pressure on the two bones. You feel pain deep inside your knee joint, and you don’t realize it’s caused by a muscle.

In fact, because of the tension in the muscle, you may not be able to straighten your leg. You may feel the exact same symptoms as arthritis.  Fortunately, the muscle can be treated easily, releasing the tension on your knee joint.

Inner Knee Pain Relief By Treating Your Popliteus Muscle

inner knee pain reliefTo treat your Popliteus muscle, bend your knee and wrap your hands around it as shown in the picture.

Place your thumbs on the top of your knee cap and press your middle fingers into the back of your knee joint.

Press around with your fingertips until you find a “hot spot.”  This is the spasm that is causing the inner knee pain.  Once you have found the spasm, hold the pressure for 15 seconds. After 15 seconds, continue pressing on the spasm but slowly straighten your leg. This is releasing the spasm in the muscle and it is also stretching the fibers.  Repeat it 3-4 times or until it is no longer painful.  You don’t have to suffer from inner knee pain or many other joint pains.

inner knee pain free livingYou Can Eliminate Pains Quickly And Easily!

Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living is an easy-to-read and easy-to-follow guide to other Julstro Method self-treatments for joint pains.

Colorful charts show you the areas of pain, and the location of the spasms that are the source of discomfort. Photographs and clear descriptions show you how to release the spasms.

This is not a book for your library. Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living is a reference book that will become your favorite “go-to” book when you have aches and pains!

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

 

julie donnelly

About The Author

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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